September 12 online meeting

On the eve of the contract battle at GM, Ford, and Chrysler: A fighting strategy for autoworkers

By the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter
11 September 2019

On September 12 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time, the WSWS Autoworker Newsletter is hosting an online meeting to discuss the strategy and perspective needed to organize autoworkers against the conspiracy of the corporations and the United Auto Workers. To participate, visit wsws.org/autocall .

With only a few days before the September 14 contract expiration, the urgent task facing autoworkers is to organize independently to prepare a real fight.

Workers want to fight and have voted overwhelmingly for strike action. They are determined to stop the attack on health benefits, abolish the multi-tier pay and benefit system, end the abuse of temporary and contract workers and win substantial raises.

The anger of autoworkers in the US is part of a global eruption of working-class opposition, including most recently a strike by 10,000 GM workers in South Korea. In Mexico, workers at GM’s Silao factory are resisting demands to increase production of pickup trucks before a potential US strike.

But autoworkers confront a contract “negotiation” process that is an illegitimate farce. The people in charge of “negotiations,” from UAW President Gary Jones on down, have had their houses raided or face the prospect of criminal charges. If they are negotiating anything, it is their plea bargains.

The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter urges autoworkers to form rank-and-file factory committees, democratically controlled by workers themselves and independent of the company agents in the UAW. An alternative leadership must be built, composed of trusted workers from every plant and workplace.

Factory committees will formulate and develop a plan to fight for demands that meet the needs of workers, including:

Defend jobs! Stop all plant closings and layoffs, reopen Lordstown and other shuttered plants, and rehire all laid-off and victimized workers.

A livable income! A 40 percent wage increase and the restoration of COLA. Fully funded health care, including dental and optical, for all workers! Restore overtime pay for work after eight hours and on weekends!

Equality in the workplace! Eliminate the tier system, with all workers, including part-time and contract workers, immediately brought up to top pay and benefits.

Honor the retirees! Reverse all cuts in retiree health care and pensions.

Stop harassment in the factory!

For real industrial democracy! For workers’ control over production, line speed and safety.

To fight for these demands, workers have no choice but to defy the authority of the UAW and establish their own organizations with their own strategy.

The WSWS Autoworker Newsletter is calling the meeting on September 12 to discuss the basis for a struggle.

Topics that will be addressed at this meeting will include:

· What are rank-and-file committees and how can they be built?

· How to unite all auto workers

· An international strategy for autoworkers

· The origins of the UAW corruption scandal

· Socialism and the fight for social equality

Meeting speakers will include WSWS Labor Editor Jerry White, WSWS writer Eric London, and WSWS correspondent from Latin America, Andrea Lobo. Lobo will bring special greetings from autoworkers in Mexico who will be listening in to the meeting.

The meeting will also be addressed by Amazon whistleblower Shannon Allen, who has played a leading role in exposing the brutal exploitation at Amazon and the methods of speed-up and high-tech surveillance that are now being brought into the auto industry. Allen will speak on the struggles of Amazon workers and their support for the upcoming fight by autoworkers.

Autoworkers are facing a critical battle that has consequences for the whole working class. But everything depends of what rank-and-file workers do. To prepare this fight, we urge autoworkers to attend this online meeting and publicize it as widely as possible.

Register today at wsws.org/autocall

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